The hometown favourites Wellington have won the 2021 Freyberg Masters held at the spiritual home of golf, Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club.
The home team came into the week as favourites to win, and they delivered.
After having wins over Tasman, Hawkes Bay, Northland, Southland, Taranaki, Bay of Plenty, and a hiccup against Otago in round five, they needed a win or a half against Canterbury in the final round of round robin to secure the title.
Otago played Aorangi in the morning and had a comfortable win 4-1 to sit top of the table.
Giles and Snow got the Otago lads off to a flyer with 6/5 and 4/3 wins respectfully with Cook and McEwan winning 2/1.
A loss would see Otago lift the trophy. Otago had a bye in the final round and had a nervous wait to see if their southern neighbours could get the job done over the hosts.
Wellington came out all guns blazing and were up in three matches through nine.
The momentum immediately swung the hosts way early in the back and through 15 holes, Jonathan Cane, Elton Nicholson, Matthew Pegg, Malcom Gullery, and Ricky Bartlett were all up.
They all finished the job, meaning they finished on seven wins and 30 individual points, pipping Otago 6 1/5 wins and 27 point.
Aorangi number 1 Nigel Heney was player of the week with 8 from 8, with Otago’s Brent McEwan also unbeaten with 7 1/2 wins.
Wellington Manager Steve Weir says it’s a special feeling to win on home turf.
“It was pretty important for us to win on our home turf. We had plenty of family and friends around that all play here often, and we’ve put in plenty of preparation over the past year knowing this event was being played at home.
“It’s pretty special moment for sure,” he says.
After a five-nil victory over Bay of Plenty this morning, Wellington knew what they needed to do in order to lift the trophy.
Weir says although a half was all that was required, Wellington wanted to win in style.
“We were never aiming for just a half this afternoon, we wanted to win. It was a lot closer than five-nil to- be honest. There were plenty of matches where there was just a hole or two in it through nine holes.
“We just really wanted to win this afternoon.”
Although there can only be one winner over the week, Weir says it was a win for golf in New Zealand having an event back on the calendar after a challenging year.
“We had a quadrangular last week. But we are really aware what Auckland and other areas are going through. Golfers just want to play golf and administrators just want the same.
“I feel for my close mate Phil Aickin as this event is very close to his heart and he’s unable to be here. But it’s great to have some competitive golf back on the calendar and we’re happy we are able to lift the trophy this week.
Wellington now switch their attention to the New Zealand Men’s and Women’s Interprovincials in a months time.